Based on the 1969 short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long, by Brian Aldiss, this science fiction fantasy bears similarities to Pinocchio (1940) and originated as a long-gestating project of director Stanley Kubrick that passed to his friend Steven Spielberg after Kubrick's death. Haley Joel Osment stars as David, a "mecha" or robot of the future, when the polar ice caps have melted and submerged many coastal cities, causing worldwide starvation and human dependence upon robotic assistance. The first mecha designed to experience love, David is the "son" of Henry (Sam Robards), an employee of the company that built the boy, and the grief-stricken Monica (Frances O'Connor). David is meant to replace the couple's hopelessly comatose son, but when their natural child recovers, David is abandoned and sets out to become "a real boy" worthy of his mother's affection. Along the way, David is mentored by a pleasure-providing mecha named Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) and a talking "super toy" bear named Teddy. His adventures take him to the Roman Circus-style "Flesh Fair," where mechas are destroyed for the amusement of humans; Rouge City, where Gigolo Joe narrowly avoids capture by police; and finally a submerged New York City, where David's creator, Professor Hobby (William Hurt) reveals the secrets of the boy's creation. Brendan Gleeson and narrator Ben Kingsley co-star in A.I., which was adapted from Kubrick's treatment by Spielberg, in his first crack at screenwriting since Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
by Karl Williams synopsis